FCCISL, Industry Ministry unveil first-ever full SME industry package in ongoing PPP initiative

Saturday, 4 June 2011 00:38 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce, has extended its fullest collaboration to the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) and Sri Lanka’s academia jointly announcing on Thursday 2 June, the first ever ‘full package of services’ for country’s Small and Medium Industries (SMEs).

“This is in keeping with the Mahinda Chinthanaya policy framework’s industrial development strategies” said Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce, addressing a press conference held at the Ministry premises at Colombo 3. “It is time to modernise our SME industries as we enter the new development era” Minister Bathiudeen added, announcing the sixth annual Machinery, Technology and Services exhibition.

The series of exhibitions, organised by the FCCISL have been on from 2006 and has been termed as one of Sri Lanka’s successful on-going Public Private Partnership (PPP) efforts.

“The Ministry represents the Public sector, the FCCISL, the private sector industries” said Epa Dayaratna, Director, Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

This year’s exhibition titled ‘SME Machinery, Technology and Services Exhibition 2011’ is scheduled to be held from June 10-12 at Sirimavo Bandaranaike Exhibition Centre in Colombo. For the first time, the exhibition will integrate the three aspects of Machinery, Technology and Services (MT&S) together and will showcase, in addition to usual tech and machines, a service provision aspect which will feature consultancy and advice sessions (including credit financing advice) for SME industries.

The consultancies will also feature consultancy on infusion of technology, and basic machinery related advice. Among the more than 100 companies taking part in the exhibition are 12 Indian industry firms, some of which are specialised in rice production.

Among the technologies showcased in the exhibition are agro technology, general engineering, handicrafts, and even livestock.

“More than 80% of Sri Lanka’s industries consist of SME scale manufacturers” said Dr. Thusitha Tennakoon,  Secretary General of FCCISL, addressing the press meet. “And the Mahinda Chinthana manifesto too accepts its importance.

Therefore, it is essential that we create awareness for this vital sector” Dr. Tennakoon said.

The “Mahinda Chinthana” manifesto depicts that the SME entrepreneurs as the backbone of national economy. “But the SME industries are handicapped by lack of knowledge and inability to innovate. There is a dire need for modernisation here” he said. “Therefore In parallel to the exhibition, each day a particular theme will be focused on.

The first day will focus on SME Policy Framework, the second day is on Technology and use if IT in industries and the third day being the day of Machineries.

This is a key PPP initiative in connection with Sri Lanka’s SME industries that has been going for some time” Dr. Tennakoon said.

Epa Dayaratne, (Director of Ministry of Industry and Commerce) said that this is in-fact a result of collaboration between three parties. “This initiative is a tripartite effort of the Ministry, FCCISL and the Universities.

The University academia will be present at the exhibition and will give free consultancy to SME industrial issues during this event” he said. 

Also present at the press conference were Epa Dayaratne, (Director, Ministry of Industry and Commerce), Asitha Seneviratne (Additional Secretary, Ministry of Industry and Commerce), K. R. Balachandra (Acting Secretary, Ministry of Industry and Commerce), and S. W. B. Wijekoon, (Consultant, FCCISL).